Google is laying off hundreds of employees from various teams as it continues to cut costs. This is reported by Reuters.
The cuts will include:
Fitbit co-founders James Park and Eric Friedman; hundreds of employees in the Voice Assistant division; several hundred positions on the hardware team responsible for Pixel, Nest and Fitbit; most of the people on the augmented reality (AR) team; hundreds of positions on the core engineering team.
Google bought health and fitness tracking company Fitbit in 2021 for $2.1 billion, but continued to release new versions of the Pixel Watch, a product that competes with some Fitbit devices and the Apple Watch.
The exact number of positions being cut is not specified. It's also unclear how many people are on the Google Assistant software development team and other teams.
The team reorganization comes as Google bets big on the growth of generative artificial intelligence technology following the success of OpenAI's ChatGPT. They hoped to make their voice assistant a «jack of all trades», right down to planning trips and writing letters.
At the beginning of last year, Google already carried out a massive downsizing, laying off 12,000 workers (6% of the entire team). Some employees had worked for the company for 20 years, and called their dismissal via e-mail «a slap in the face from the company.»